9 thoughts on “WCW: Viola Davis

  1. She always turns in a solid performance, and in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom with great material and a cast that was at her level, she was absolutely perfect and peerless.

  2. Such an incredible actress and gorgeous, to boot. I’m so glad she has been able to move beyond maid/ servant roles. I have to say, though, despite the weaknesses of the character/ script in “The Help”, her performance did move me: the empty look in her eyes when she talked about the death of her son, masking bottomless sorrow; the ambivalence she expressed when she was fired from caring for the chubby little white toddler who loved her as a mother. She was the true protagonist of that movie. Viola just elevates whatever she shows up in.

    1. I agree about The Help. I understand why she regrets it, but she made me cry within 30 seconds of that movie starting, just with her expression. I’d seen Doubt and was blown away by her performance, but The Help made me a fan for life. There were layers to her character that, I think were eclipsed by the main plot–her untapped writing talent, her grief over her son, the grief of loving a child and yet not having authority to raise her in a healthy way (parallels to Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey). So much more interesting than Skeeter’s journey. Aibileen was the heart and soul of both the film and the book. But of course, I’m part of the white audience for the white author, so I’m sure there are nuances that I miss.

  3. She’s an incredible actress and a very worthy pick for WCW. It’s unfortunate that she probably hasn’t had all the opportunities she deserved, but her talent shines through everything she has done.

  4. YESSSSSS, she’s fantastic! Not just one of the best historical actresses working right now (which she unquestionably is), but one of the best actresses, period.

    I’m really looking forward to watching The First Lady when it comes out. And while the Michelle Obama parts will be too modern for this site, they’re also covering Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Ford, so those sections could be relevant to this site!

  5. For me her best costume roles would be from The Help and Get On Up. I LOATHE the play Fences so I never saw the movie even though she and Denzel Washington are excellent actors.

  6. Davis as MRO?! I love this idea. Like most First Ladies, Michelle Obama was obliged to play down her natural forcefulness during the White House years, and Viola Davis is so good at conveying ambivalence.

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